To answer the person in e-mail who asked if I planned to say much about the Democratic convention: No, not really. As I believe I have mentioned before, right about now, politics makes me feel positively stabby, and I think it’s best for all concerned that I just avoid it all when possible. In fact, to keep my stabbiness to the bare minimum, I’ve unsubscribed to all my usual political blogs and check on the news maybe twice a day, usually skirting over the convention news if I can. I am aware of what’s going on, but I’m not doing my usual “crawl through all the news” thing. I don’t know whether this is making me happier, but I suspect it’s keeping me from being pissed off.
And yes, I plan to keep this up through the Republican convention as well. Don’t worry, I expect you can get your political updates other places.
Yesterday’s Book Haul covered the various hardcovers that had made it into the Scalzi Compound over the last couple of weeks; today we’ve got some of the various paperbacks. Ready? Here we go:
* Wanderlust, Ann Aguirre: The second of Aguirre’s Jax books, in which the main character is has the special ability to navigate faster-than-light ships. This time she’s taken a new job in which she has to deal with various shady types in order to get paid and/or make it out alive. Which I suppose means she’s gotten a gig in publishing. This came out yesterday. Also, apparently today is Ann Aguirre’s birthday. You know what present to give her.
*Legacy, Jeanne C. Stein: The fourth book in the Anna Strong, Vampire series. Our heroine, despite being a vampire an therefore some sort of dead, nevertheless inherits a fortune — but wait! Here comes a very angry werewolf to put a claim on the inheritance! Something tells me this one won’t just be fought in court. Also out now.
* Imaginary Friends: An anthology of stories about — oh, come on, you can guess — imaginary friends. Contributors to this one include my pal Jim C. Hines, SFWA president Russell Davis, Tim Waggoner (who lives just down the road from me), and recent Sidewise award winner Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Hits September 2.
* Acacia, David Anthony Durham: Durham’s very excellent fantasy debut, now in convenient paperback form. I’m a big fan of this book, so check it out if you haven’t done so already. It came out yesterday.
* The Soldier King, Violette Malan: The second novel featuring Dhulyn and Parno, psychic former slave and exiled nobleman, respectively. Trouble occurs when the pair decide to help a captive prince they had previously captured. See, this is why I don’t bother to capture princes anymore. Just too much work. This comes out next Tuesday.
* The Age of the Conglomerates, Thomas Nevins: A very slick-looking book which more or less recasts a 1984 dytopia into a conglomerate business setting. Author Nevins has been working in the publishing world for a while in sales, so this is his debut on the other side of the shark tank. Happy swimming, Thomas! This is out now.
* Just One Bite, Kimberly Raye: The fourth book in a series about a dating service for supernatural and occasionally undead folks. I find this a strangely appealing concept myself. Everyone needs love, folks. Everyone needs love. Out now.
* Pandemonium, Daryl Gregory: It’s the 1950s (mostly) and people all over the US are finding themselves possessed. One of them is looking for help to get rid of the demon inside his head, and his quest will, among other things, lead him to Philip K. Dick. No, really, it says so right here on the back cover. Tell you what, I’m looking forward to reading how that will pan out. This book came out yesterday.
* Heaven’s Net is Wide, Lian Hearn: The prequel to the Otori series, now available in paperback. Or will be available, next Tuesday.
* Leaving Fortusa, John Grant: Grant is perhaps better known for his nonfiction (most recently for his tomes Discarded Science and Corrupted Science, on the subjects suggested in the titles, and both of which I recommend), and this is a “novel in ten episodes” about the future of humanity. From Norilana Books, which is run by author Vera Nazarian. This comes out in October.
* Break of Dawn, Chris Marie Green: More vampires! They’re very popular these days, aren’t they. This is the third book of the “Vampire Babylon” trilogy. It comes out September 2.
* Elric: To Rescue Tanelorn, Michael Moorcock: Yay! More Elric! Also, it’s out now. That is all.
* A Field Guide to Surreal Botany: Co-Edited by frequent Whatever commenter Jason Erik Lundberg, this excellently fanciful volume features contributions from noted surreal botanists such as Jay Lake, Ann Leckie, Jon Hansen, Lucy A. Snyder and Merrie Haskell. The perfect thing to confuse the gardener in your life. Unlike the other books in this entry, it’s not on Amazon, so let point you in the direction of the publisher, Two Cranes Press.
I crave your thoughts on this collection of books.
It won’t last — Stephenie Meyer fans, outraged that their leader was deposed even momentarily, will no doubt purchase Kindles for the sole purpose of buying electronic copies of The Host, thus putting her back on top. Also, I expect to be visited by a teenage vampire death squad any second now. But until I’m turned into a bloodless husk (or, alternately, a carrier for an alien intelligence — you get options with Meyer!), it’s still nifty.
Related to this, I’ve been made aware of the first week sales numbers for Zoe, and I’m happy to say they look very good — it’s had the best first week sales of any of my hardcovers. Which is a huge relief, I don’t mind telling you. ZT is the first book where I’ve actually been worried about how it would be received (part and parcel of trying to write from a point of view substantially different from my own, i.e., the “teenage girl” thing). So that part of my brain can start to unclench now. If you were part of the First Week Purchase Brigade, you have my thanks. You’ve helped my sanity.
Here Toby and I are announcing our intention to run for president and vice-president of these great United States, on a platform centered on, oh, let’s say, jellybeans for all, and the immediate invasion of the nearest Best Buy for all the gadgets we could possibly want. That Toby is not constitutionally able to serve either office and that I am mostly bald, thus effectively barring me from the highest office in the land (no bald or balding presidents elected since Eisenhower — check it) should matter little, especially since we have no chance of winning. But if like us you are for tasty, bite-sized sugar-coated treats, and having the Army Rangers stomp into the ground that annoying blue-shirted salesdude who keeps trying to sell you a service contract even after you said “no” six times already, you know how to vote. Scalzi/Buckell in ’08! Finally, you have a meaningless choice!
Alternately, this is us at our appearance last night at Books & Co. in Dayton, at which we read from our latest books, did a little Q&A and then signed lots of books. It was a good turnout (they ran out of chairs and people had to stand in the back, which I guess was annoying for the people who had to stand but nice for us) and seemed like folks were having fun. We certainly had fun. Now it’s onward to Lexington this Friday at 7pm (once again with Paul Melko joining us) and then the Decatur Book Festival and Dragon*Con. And then sleep. Yes, that’s correct, we’re not sleeping until Monday at the earliest! Won’t that be fun for you when you meet us.
Thanks to everyone who showed up last night (and to Hugh Staples, for the photo above). It was tasty.